George Ralph, RFA

RFA celebrates three decades of growth


RFA, an IT, financial cloud and cyber-security provider to the alternatives industry, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and as one of a series of celebrations, on 27 June, managing director, George Ralph brought together a host of industry talent at the prestigious McLaren London showroom.

 “I’m proud to be part of RFA’s success and truly believe that the company’s longevity can be attributed to the way it responds to changes both in the market and client expectations,” says Ralph (pictured). “We are always looking for ways to make clients’ lives easier, their systems more secure and their operations more efficient.”

RFA has much to celebrate. Ralph has played a vital role in building the European side of the business, creating a consultancy that is very much more than the sum of its parts. Since the opening of the London office in 2015, RFA now has over 150 clients throughout Europe, including clients in Amsterdam and Hamburg. The firm has also recently opened an office in Luxembourg, where it already has two data centres. 

RFA’s president Yohan Kim says: “We have found a fantastic leader in George and as a result of his expertise and energy the company has been growing 60 per cent globally year-on-year.”

Originally founded in New York in 1989, RFA started out providing IT consulting services to hedge funds and private equity firms. Between 2002 and 2014, the business harnessed the boom in cloud computing, focusing on remote backup, remote disaster recovery and hosting clients’ data in its secure New York data centre, while maintaining its headquarters in Madison Avenue. Growth was steady and the firm, with a US-based workforce of around 170 employees, was building a well-established client base. When the management team developed both the multi-cloud and public cloud platform in 2014, RFA’s growth really gathered pace.

Now with around 800 clients with a total AUM of USD1 trillion, RFA is a leading global firm providing financial cloud, cybersecurity and enterprise-quality IT solutions. With a 24-hour securities operations centre monitoring clients’ applications and networks, risks can be identified, categorised and prioritised, before effecting mitigations. Through its research and development DevOps automation and machine-learning capabilities, the firm also provides clients with customised workflow and IT strategies. 

But what are the secrets of its success? At the party, representatives of hedge funds, private equity firms and the technology partners all agreed that RFA provides exceptional levels of service. 

RFA’s newly appointed head of client services, Amar Shah explained that RFA is a lot more than just a tech agency and cited three factors that differentiate it from its peers: RFA provides full-service compliance and CTO services; the products are agnostic, not repackaged and “we have the best engineering minds in the business, and last but by no means least, George is an inspirational leader.” 

Davesh Patel, CTO, Arrowgrass Partners has recently started using RFA’s services. “Our clients are pension funds and institutions and we care 24/7 about what happens. Even when all is going well, we prepare for the worst, and we need the technological support to do that.” Patel also added that they had looked at a number of other providers, however, the RFA engineers stood out as having a deeply entrenched knowledge of both financial services and fund management needs. 

It is clear that a combination of outstanding levels of service and the business integrity is paying dividends for RFA. And in the words of Jerry Lees, chairman, Linear Investments: “We have been using RFA for around five years and in that time, we have not had a single down. RFA’s reputation, record, reliability and compatibility is second to none.” 

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